Google takes down 60 gaming apps with ‘AdultSwine’ pop-up porn malware from Play Store

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 25 Sept 2018
Google takes down 60 gaming apps with ‘AdultSwine’ pop-up porn malware from Play Store
  • Majority of the malicious apps were targeted at children and displayed pornographic ads. The apps also tried to trick users into installing other fake apps and buying premium services which weren’t requested by them.

Google has removed 60 games from its Play Store which were infected with a pornographic malware named “AdultSwine”. Researchers at Check Point published a report which stated that the malware hid inside around 60 games and apps, several of which were intended to be used by children. 

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Check Point said that the malware loaded apps have been downloaded between 3 to 7 million times from the Google Play Store. The company has detailed the malware’s working in three possible ways:

  1. It displays ads from the web which are often highly inappropriate and pornographic.
  2. Attempting to trick users into installing fake ‘security apps’.
  3. Attempting to trick users into registering for premium services at their expense.

Once installed, the malicious apps wait for users to unlock their device. After a boot or unlock, it tries to trick users into downloading fake apps, buying premium services which the users didn’t request and can also use its infrastructure for other purposes such as credential theft. “The malicious code simply receives a target link from its Command and Control server and displays it to the user. While in some cases this link is merely an advertisement, it could also lead to whatever social engineering scheme the hacker has in mind.” Check Point said in its research.

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Google said, in a statement to CNET, that it has immediately removed the malicious apps from the Play Store and disabled their developer’s accounts. Anyone with the apps installed will also be alerted by displayed warnings. Some of the affected apps include Five Nights Survival Craft, which has been downloaded at least 1 million times, Mcqueen Car Racing Game, Addon GTA for Minecraft PE and more.

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